Bent can show he still has Aston Villa future while on loan

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Rather than continue to gather dust at Aston Villa, the club’s record signing has opted to join Championship side Brighton on a short-term loan and it could be just the tonic for Darren Bent to prove his worth.

The England international hasn’t so much fallen from grace as plummeted under the management of Paul Lambert at Villa Park, where he has clearly failed to impress the Scot, despite costing the club £18m in January 2011.

Lambert saw fit to send Bent on a season-long loan with Fulham for the start of the 2013/14 season, which wasn’t a roaring success by any means, rewarding the Cottagers with only six goals from 30 appearances.

However, when Bent returned in the wake of Fulham’s relegation, he looked sharp in pre-season and thought he would be given opportunities at Villa once more, especially with Christian Benteke laid up for the first few months.

Despite Villa’s tumble down the table following a bright start, Bent’s involvement has been strictly peripheral, reduced to being thrown on as a substitute very late in only a handful of Premier League games.

Even though the Villans are now just four points above bottom-placed QPR and 16/5 shots for the drop, a goalscorer of Bent’s pedigree appears surplus to requirements.

Moving to Brighton, though, should at least ensure he starts some games as Sami Hyypia’s Seagulls are themselves floating around the second tier’s danger zone and in need of a goal scorer.

If Bent can produce a mini flurry of goals at the Amex then he will not only restore some self belief, but he could even thrust himself back into contention at Villa Park.

Even if Lambert remains unmoved on the former Tottenham striker afterwards, at least Bent puts himself in the shop window ahead of January, so it is win/win.

He just needs to score now!

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.